January 18, 2022

October wettest month ever at BIA

Airplanes have been coming and going from what is now called Bangor International Airport at least since the 1930s, but apparently no month during that period has been wetter than the October that just ended, the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

The rains of October fell in record amounts all around northern and eastern Maine, shattering precipitation records all along the way.

Penobscot and Washington counties recorded the most rainfall, but Aroostook, Somerset and Piscataquis counties also posted high levels, the weather service said.

At BIA, a total rainfall accumulation of 13.32 inches was recorded in October.

That set a record not only for any October, but for any month as well. The previous October record had been 8.96 inches, set in 2003, and the previous record for any month at BIA was 11.61 inches, set in November 2003.

Portland had 14.37 inches of rain in October.

According to numbers compiled by the National Weather Service in Caribou, rainfall for the month ranged from 15.52 inches at East Machias to 5.5 inches at Clayton Lake.

At the Millinocket Municipal Airport, a total rainfall accumulation of 10.02 inches was recorded, setting a record for October. The old record was 7.88 inches, set in 2003. The monthly total was second only to November 1950, when 10.28 inches of rainfall was recorded there.

At Houlton International Airport, a total rainfall accumulation of 8.19 inches was recorded, setting a record for October. The old record was 7.92 inches, from 2003. The October total was second only to November 1983, when 8.5 inches was recorded.

Other communities with double-digit totals accumulated by weather observers across the region during October were: Corinna, 14.62 inches; Guilford, 13.19; Wesley, 12.90; Milo, 12.27; Robbinston, 11.97; Topsfield, 11.62; Sebec Lake, 11.58; Patten, 10.12; and Smith Brook, 10.10.

Although the numbers were high, they have to be viewed with perspective, National Weather Service forecaster Joseph Hewitt said Tuesday.

He noted that just a few years ago Maine was locked in a period of drought in which many wells went dry and groundwater levels dropped dramatically.

“That kind of broke in the fall of ’02 and ’03. Up to ’05 has been either normal or above normal in the [precipitation] category since then,” Hewitt said.

As for November: “It looks like for the next seven days we’re going back to a more normal pattern. We’re looking at a dry regime for the next few days,” Hewitt said.

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